Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Worse breast cancer outcomes for women from poorer backgrounds are not due to late diagnosis alone

Date:
March 24, 2010
Source:
ECCO-the European CanCer Organisation
Summary:
The largest study in Europe to look at the link between socioeconomic status and survival after breast cancer has found that women from poorer backgrounds have worse outcomes and that this is only partly explained by more advanced cancer at diagnosis. Socioeconomic status should be considered to be a prognostic factor, the Dutch researchers say.

The largest study in Europe to look at the link between socioeconomic status and survival after breast cancer has found that women from poorer backgrounds have worse outcomes and that this is only partly explained by more advanced cancer at diagnosis.

Although other studies have found that lower socioeconomic status is linked with women consulting their doctors at a later stage when their cancer is more advanced, this is the first study to show that there may be other factors at work that mean these women are more likely to die from their disease.

Dr Esther Bastiaannet, an epidemiologist at Leiden University Medical Centre (Leiden, The Netherlands), told the seventh European Breast Cancer Conference (EBCC7) in Barcelona that the study included 127,599 women who were diagnosed with breast cancer between 1995 and 2005 in The Netherlands. Data from these women were linked with data from the Netherlands Institute for Social Research, which keeps records of socioeconomic status by postcode.

Dr Bastiaannet and her colleagues found that not only was there an association between tumour size at diagnosis and socioeconomic status, but also, even after adjusting for factors such as age, grade and stage of the tumour, year of diagnosis and treatment, there was still a statistically significant association between survival and socioeconomic status. Women from the poorest backgrounds were a fifth more likely to die within ten years of diagnosis than women from the wealthiest backgrounds.

Both the overall survival (deaths due to any cause) and relative survival (the ratio between the survival from breast cancer when compared to the survival expected, based on the general population) declined with lower socioeconomic status. Ten years after diagnosis, overall survival was 65% for highest socioeconomic status patients versus 58% for lowest socioeconomic status patients; relative survival was 79% for the highest socioeconomic status patients, versus 74% for the lowest socioeconomic status patients.

"An increase of five percent in relative survival [from 74-79%] may look small, but these differences are significant to the prognosis of patients with breast cancer," said Dr Bastiaannet. "The differences were statistically significant, even after adjustment for age, year of diagnosis, grade and stage of the tumour and treatment. The increased risk of death for the lowest socioeconomic status group was a fifth higher when compared to the risk for the highest socioeconomic status group.

"We concluded that socioeconomic differences in The Netherlands were associated not only with tumour size at diagnosis and but also with long term survival. The more advanced cancer at diagnosis in patients with a lower socioeconomic status only partly explains their decreased survival after five and ten years. We think further research is needed to identify reasons for these disparities, with the hope of eliminating them in the future. In addition, socioeconomic status should be considered as a prognostic factor for breast cancer patients in The Netherlands."

She said this was the largest study in Europe to look at the association between socioeconomic status and survival and the first to describe the disparities at a national level in The Netherlands. "I think that it is possible to extrapolate our findings to other countries in Europe that have similar healthcare systems to The Netherlands where healthcare is at a high level and available to everyone."

At present, it is not known for certain what factors might be contributing to the higher risk of death from breast cancer among women from poorer backgrounds. "Lifestyle factors, such as smoking, may play a role," said Dr Bastiaannet. "Access to early detection, treatment that could be influenced by other health problems, and other, as yet, unknown factors all may be involved as well."

The researchers are planning to extend their research by comparing treatment according to tumour stage, and by investigating the factors that could influence the choice of treatment.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by ECCO-the European CanCer Organisation. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

ECCO-the European CanCer Organisation. "Worse breast cancer outcomes for women from poorer backgrounds are not due to late diagnosis alone." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 March 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100324085300.htm>.
ECCO-the European CanCer Organisation. (2010, March 24). Worse breast cancer outcomes for women from poorer backgrounds are not due to late diagnosis alone. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100324085300.htm
ECCO-the European CanCer Organisation. "Worse breast cancer outcomes for women from poorer backgrounds are not due to late diagnosis alone." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100324085300.htm (accessed July 22, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

TheStreet (July 21, 2014) New research shows Gilead Science's drug Sovaldi helps in curing hepatitis C in those who suffer from HIV. In a medical study, the combination of Gilead's Hep C drug with anti-viral drug Ribavirin cured 76% of HIV-positive patients suffering from the most common hepatitis C strain. Hepatitis C and related complications have been a top cause of death in HIV-positive patients. Typical medication used to treat the disease, including interferon proteins, tended to react badly with HIV drugs. However, Sovaldi's %1,000-a-pill price tag could limit the number of patients able to access the treatment. TheStreet's Keris Lahiff reports from New York. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com
$23.6 Billion Awarded To Widow In Smoking Lawsuit

$23.6 Billion Awarded To Widow In Smoking Lawsuit

Newsy (July 20, 2014) Cynthia Robinson claims R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company hid the health and addiction risks of its products, leading to the death of her husband in 1996. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Tooth Plaque Provides Insight Into Diets Of Ancient People

Tooth Plaque Provides Insight Into Diets Of Ancient People

Newsy (July 19, 2014) Research on plaque from ancient teeth shows that our prehistoric ancestor's had a detailed understanding of plants long before developing agriculture. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Contaminated Water Kills 3 Babies in South African Town

Contaminated Water Kills 3 Babies in South African Town

AFP (July 18, 2014) Contaminated water in South Africa's northwestern town of Bloemhof kills three babies and hospitalises over 500 people. The incident highlights growing fears over water safety in South Africa. Duration: 02:22 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins